Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year Dewey Beach!

I always promise myself to be in Dewey Beach for the New Year; yet business requires me elsewhere.
If I was there I'd already be at the best and most fun house party in town, and on New Year's Day Weekend I'd be participating in the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count; a Pelagic Boat Trip!
Yet, my New Year never starts January 1st. I consider myself lucky as I count Two Starts to the New Year; Late Spring Beach Cottage Opening and Early Fall Rosh Ha Shonah
( translates to Head of The New Year).
Yet, oddly Rosh Ha Shonah signals the beginning of the end of my New Beach Season!
A New Year! A New Beach Season and all that implies! New swimsuits and sandals,
renewing and making new friendships, beach fun that never gets tagged as old.
When the sunlight hits my beachy cottage bedroom window, I awaken to a new day, two new tides to greet, and new shorebirds to protect, new Hawks to count.
Each Beach Day is a New Year in itself.
Every Sunset is the New Year's Eve for the Celebration to Continue to the Next Beach Day, and the next........ and the next!
Dewey Beach: every Day is a New Year's Celebration!

Happy New Year's Dewey Beach!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Small Kitchen Stories: Pear and Cranberry Sauce Pie

I love cranberry sauce. I like pears too, but I had way too many wasting away in the fridge. Thus I was inspired to make this pie. Our favorite Rte 1 Giant supplies the ingredients.

Pear and Cranberry Sauce Pie

Mixed Pear "bag": I used the Bosc and Red Bartletts: thin slices, ~ 5 cups
Cranberry Sauce: ~ 1 cup
Tapioca: 2 Tablespoons
Sugar: ~ 1/2 cup
Cinnamon and Cardamom
Grand Marnier
Giant or Pillsbury Ready-Made Pie Crusts, 2.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl combine the fruit, cranberry sauce, spices and a dash of the Grand Marnier. Then fill the bottom pie crust. Top with lots of butter pats. Top with the second crust, crimp and make decorative steam slits.
Bake for ~ 50 minutes.

Ta Da!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Small Kitchen Stories: Pasta with Cauliflower & Gorgonzola

I was craving a "fancy pasta" dish..... but dead-easy to make as I was tired from the day's hike. Off to Route 1 Giant you go to find the ingredients.
I am so charmed by this dish I am contemplating other choices: Broccoli and Feta or Carrots and Cheddar?
This dish requires a microwave. :-(

Pasta with Cauliflower & Gorgonzola
Pasta: I used tri-color ribbons
Cauliflower "Organic": cut into florets
Gorgonzola, crumbled
Ricotta Cheese: a nice glutinous touch but not mandatory.

Prepare the pasta and have it warm and waiting with a slathering of butter.
In a microwavable casserole dish place the vegetable and some water. Microwave until done. Drain. Mash up just enough to make small pieces.
Add in a generous wallop of the crumbled Gorgonzola, a big spoonful of the ricotta, and a dab of butter. Mix in and then cover and microwave for 1 minute (no more).
Mix again and gently toss with the warm and waiting pasta.

Desert: sliced Clementines doused with Eggnog!

Ta DA!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mayor Diane's Holiday Message

Greetings from Dewey Beach, Delaware.
Dewey is a very friendly and relaxing place where dogs are allowed on the beach.
It’s also one of the few places where you can walk from the ocean and watch the sunset on the bay. We are experiencing an especially cold period right now but hope that all of you have a warm and wonderful holiday season.

Diane Hanson
Town of Dewey Beach

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dewey Beach Leaseholds...... Series 1.

2004, I changed my life. I was six years into "Boot Camp", all work and no play, and it was time to have fun...... not just once in a while, but every week!
Childhood Summer memories at Dewey and Rehoboth Beach prodded me to return and find the fun. Since I loved life at the beach as a sand-crab the theory was as an adult I would too!
Summer of 2004, I looked for my beach cottage. As a kid we rented lease-hold cottages on the beach block; as an adult I wanted the same experience.
Summer 2004, what a crazy real-estate market I came into! In my humble opinion the prices for fee-simple and lease-holds were beyond inflated.
I decided not to buy a price-inflated fee-simple beach property, and instead I wanted a property not more than three blocks from the beach; and the cheapest one would do just fine. Thus I bought my Rehoboth By The Sea Leasehold "Beachy Cottage", Second Block from the ocean.
I bought a life style. I found a community of over 300 property owners that did the same as myself.
The lease-hold is the same as buying a fancy vehicle or boat. The money is spent for pleasure and not as an investment.
Sometimes, I do call my beachy-cottage: My Beached Boat.
I am happy to be moored two blocks from the finest beach in Dewey!

Beach Blessings,

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Venus and Her Rip Curl Watch!

Today my beloved moon-like-pearl-face, Rip Curl Watch with Automatic Tide System analog Dials returned to me via FEDEX from repair with it's new battery and elegant but girly band.
This watch is so perfect for my beach life, that I forsook my cherished Rado of 20 years, and never looked for the Rado again until the Rip Curl without me headed to California for repair.
My Rip Curl is the only watch I wear at the beach: daytime and going out at night.
I always know the tide; I know where to head for the best beach/surf-action, and I know exactly where to place my beach chair!
I was nearly shaking from withdraw symptoms when opening the returned box. I had lived how many weeks without her on my wrist? I no longer at any time of the day could glance only to know: the tide-high/low, the tide range-highest of highs/lowest of lows, the Moon Phase! The MOON Phase!!!!!
Without my watch I was bereft and separated from a nervous-system connection to my beachy-universe. I still knew by heart and mind the date and current Moon Phase.... but not having the watch's visuals made me anxious and sad.
I bought the watch as I was tired of having a series of Timex's Triathalon Digital Watches drown and die from my swimming and beach life. I had no idea how the Rip Curl would become a gear of my daily beachy-gestalt and provide endless ticking moments of sheer joy.

Beach Blessings,

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Small Kitchen Stories: Warm Cottage: Sausage Stew

Early Fall I'm out at Hawk Watch and return home cold and wind blown wanting a warming big-bowl dinner. I'm tired to pieces so the cooking needs to be mindless.
Our favorite Giant/Route 1, fills the cart for dinner.

Chicken Sausages: cooked, 3 to 4, sliced
Cream of Celery Soup: Pacific "Organic" brand
Onions, diced
Garlic, 2 cloves mashed and diced
Mushrooms, chopped
Red Sweet Pepper, chopped
Baby Carrots: "Organic", pre-peeled, whole
Green Peas, frozen, Nature's Promise, 1/2 bag.
Italian Parsley, minced
White Wine and Water, equal parts
Olive oil

In a favorite pot saute up the onion and sausage. Then add in the remaining ingredients. The soup says to add in equal parts water. Use wine for half of the water added. Add in the Tarragon to taste. Make certain you add in a big handful of the minced parsley.
Simmer for about 45 minutes.
Serve next to potato mashers: yellow or sweet!
Applesauce is a nice dessert served with almond biscotti.

Ta Da!

Lewes Trick or Treat: Terrified Children!

Let's face it. 400 year old Lewes is beautiful by day and spooky at night. Flower-potted tiny yards jumble up against graveyards. The entire town revs up for the event. The Fire House members in full gear "costume" hand out candy!
Last year I drove thru Lewes on Trick or Treat evening before meeting up with friends for dinner at Bethany Blues. Big mistake. The town was out on the street making driving terrifying. Yet the drive thru yielded a sight from the Victorian age. 2010 I determined, I'd walk the town.
I swooped into my secret parking space which it seems is not so secret. My goal was to take in King's Highway with its parade of Victorian homes fronted with comfy porches which keep company with at least two graveyards.
The comfy porches were transformed into stages of mini-Haunts of Horror complete with moving mechanical ghouls, light, and music to match.
One porch had to be approached thru a dark yard and a human "ghoul" waved in the kids. Scared me it did!
At another home not only did you have to get past the scary porch but you had to enter the living-room where a family of adult drinking ghouls offered the treats.
Nearly all the children were scared to bits and so was I.

Trick or Treat!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lewes Ghost Tour! Seriously Spooky!

It took me five years to get used to Lewes: as in not be overwhelmed by the 400 years of history compressed into it's ~ 4 square miles. Lewes comes by it's spookiness honestly.
For five years I experienced Lewes as "spooky". I adore Lewes and wish to be a full time resident, but when I leave the city confines I always feel a release of it's own narrative and happy to be back in the Wild-Wild-West A.K.A. Dewey Beach.
Halloween Weekend was perfect timing for me to do the Lewes Historical Society Ghost Tour! I was ready to learn the stories!
I already knew the sad story of the unknown sailors mass graveyard which resides and is now paved over in the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Passenger Parking Lot! Every weekend when I pass by on my way to Cape Henlopen State Park, I always say a "Shalom" for the souls.
Crazy excited I was to do the tour! I arrived early and waited on the bench while the sky went dark, and I was on my cell while listening to a Halloween poem! I was in the mood!
Our leader Russ Allen comes by the Ghost Tales by his work of surveying all of Lewes 32 church graveyards: ~ 7,000 gravestones! He had us in the palm of his hand for almost two hours as we walked .5 mile from the Lewes Ryves Holt House to the Cannonball House.
We hardly took a step without Russ pointing here and there with haunted happening tales. From Russ's tales, Lewes's Second Street is almost as populated with spirits as tourists!
The reoccurring theme is that all is well until a renovation takes place at which time the resident spirits make themselves known. Another theme was when a haunted house was sold the new owner would call the old owner for ghost tale confirmations. I guess ghost sighting are not required in the real estate disclosure documents!
We ended the tour at the Cannonball House while Russ announced that we were now standing in the most haunted room of the most haunted house in Lewes! As it turned out I unknowingly stood in the very spot where a past owner of the house died from a kitchen fire!
I hope next season Russ gives the "advanced tour"!

P.S.: Yes, I still think lovely Lewes is spooky!

Beach Blessings and Shalom!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fantasy Trail @ Cape Henlopen State Park 2010

Dear Reader: look up the 2009 Fantasy Trail post for the event overview and then please, read on.
I'm the "Official Crazy Outdoor Greeter", a fourth year returning volunteer. Like try and stop me! Without a doubt this is one of the highlights of my Beach Season!
A few weeks before the event I check out my Fantasy Trail Disco-Era-Psycho-Stay-At-Home Mom costume: pouffy black and neon-pink streaked pig-tailed wig, costume of starched cotton color-printed apron and jogging suit, and my extras: crazy Halloween decor garlands worn as necklaces, slap bracelets with dolphins and serpents, my dinosaur finger-puppet, and my magic strobe light!
The costume works it's magic into my psyche and by "opening night": I'm READY!
As I roll into the parking lot: I'm already in my character. The Park Police who know me from my Summer as "Bird Police Volunteer at The Point" took one look at me and were in instant hysterics. My role is simultaneously to get the kids excited and organized for the fun ahead! ;-)
To get even more psyched for the evening I run ahead of the event the 300 carved and lit pumpkin trail! At this point I am in storybook-land. I'm now living each and every fairy-tale.
The public arrives early and we had 30 minutes to entertain until "show time". The Returning favorite entertainer Lollipop The Clown and I have fun dancing together, bidding the children to do the same. Lollipop's ferret wore a sparkly green top-hat and again kissed my dinosaur finger puppet! Later Lollipop holds court in the entertainment tent where she has everyone in the palm of her hand while singing, telling stories, and making adults into mummy's; winding them in rolls of toilet paper!
Over the three nights ~ 2,500 children and adults were not just entertained but enthralled upon high. Their beloved State Park transformed from bright-and-beachy to spooky-silly with even the aquarium tanks of sand sharks becoming part of the display "trail".
After two nights running my voice became raw but my spirit resided at Fantasy Trail, and lived well it did.
Small Kitchen Story Note: What to have for dinner at 9 PM after entertaining the masses? Big Fish to the rescue: Pumpkin Crab Bisque purchased early in the day.... served with rice crackers and my own-made applesauce.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Big Fish: Local Time

How many times during the Summer did I want to dine at Big Fish and knew it would be an impossibly long wait, and thus opted instead to purchase fish from the market and make dinner at home? A-LOT!
Last weekend we had plans to dine at Dewey Beach's Scraps and at the last second opted for Big Fish. Yes, I thought: maybe we have half a chance to get in for dinner!
I headed in to get the table reservation, looked around at the crowd and was told the wait was 30 minutes..... and then thought to check out eating at the bar. I scored the three needed seats at the back of the house "secret" Tikki Bar.
The bartender confirmed my guess that this was now Local-Time! Time for the locals to enjoy their own town and get into the venues of choice.
I decided to try something I'd never prepare at home: split lobster stuffed with crab imperial! I did two sides of mashed sweet potatoes and stewed tomatoes. Gloriously gorgeous was the dish.
Big Fish is known for huge portions, but the 1/4th of a pie Peanut Butter Pie serving was gob-smacking! It was enough to serve 4 for a Birthday Party. So I sang out loud the song and the bar patrons who were downing champagne joined in!

Beach Blessings,

Monday, October 18, 2010

Jazz Fest 2010! Very Chill.

I so much wanted to attend a Rehoboth Convention Center Saturday Night Jazz Concert, but as I had heard the booked group at least three times before, I passed and decided to do the "non-official" venues.
Interestingly, I heard the same from other devoted Jazz Fest attendees: they always come for the weekend..... but wanted new performers, and they as well opted for the local scene.
Jazz Fest: spend the money $$$,$$$ and bring in new heart-stopping performers. We are all yearning for a repeat weekend as thrilling as the one with both Dionne Warwick and Queen Latifah!
I took in Dewey Beach's Cove twice: for the Friday Happy Hour and the Saturday Night 9 PM set.
The Happy Hour was a big happy crowd and Johnny Neel, was fine even if the sound was muddy. The mistake was that the group's sound tried to play to the entire complex; which is a somewhat awkward set up.
Saturday Night there was a $5.00 cover to see Fred Hughes Trio with Peggy Raley. This group got it right and played a "lounge-y set" to the dance floor. When Peggy Raley broke from the trio: they let loose and the crowd responded.
The Cove is successful when the music is "clubby" and plays to the dance floor.
Dewey Beach really hates a cover charge........ even if it is only $5.00. I think this subdued many who thought of attending.
I think the same might have happened for the Route 1, Bethany Blues $40 cover for a buffet and six hour jam session.
Many that I met at the Cove then went into Rehoboth to stroll the street and take in any venue that appealed. The odd favorite was non-Jazz Karaoke at The Purple Parrot!
Sunday Night, The Forgotten Mile's, Just In Thyme's, David Zipse review and final- jam brought in the core in-the-know musicians and local crowd. So funny as we pile into the bar where you can not see the musicians, but the tunes find their way in to the space just the same!
This was a chill-ax way to do the Jazz Fest....... and it was OK. Next year, Jazz Fest Producers: please make my heart go thump with a new line-up.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

University of Delaware's Lewes Coast Day 2010

Something happens to me every time I drive on Pilottown Road going towards the University of DE. I get spine-tingles. I'm elated; enchanted. With each and every drive I promise myself: here is where I will live out my days.
Even with threatening weather...... and did it ever later let-loose-the-rain, driving the road I was full of spine tingles and excitement.
Never before have I attended Coast Day; this year I was scheduled to be in the "merchandise free" DNREC Tent to work the Friends of Cape Henlopen table. I arrived early for my shift and dressed for squalls: parka and knee-high boots!
Despite or maybe due to the rain, the event and our tent was jammed pack! The idea was to rope in new members. I smiled broadly, a circus barker I became, and pleaded for the passerby to become OUR FRIEND! Could we PULLEEZE be FRIENDS? I got huge laughs and brochures were gladly accepted.
I admit it. I'm a DNREC "Groupie"! What a privilege to be in the DNREC tent! After my volunteer gig: I went around the tent to greet my Fish and Wildlife DNREC directors and explore other divisions.
Attendees were cold and soaking wet so off I went to join the crush inside the University buildings. Gleeful intense interest described the crowd..... except for some sleepy-headed students in the video-screening room. From a video, I later recognized and met the Dean!
Every lab and hall hosted a fun activity for kids and adults. My favorite was a before-your-eyes extraction from mushed strawberries, making visible DNA strands! For me it was amazing and creepy all at once!
The attendees were Coast Day "true believers"; a sunny day might not have revealed this.

Beach Blessings,

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dewey Beach Music Conference 2010

The Dewey Beach Music Conference is a signature "Dewey Beach" event. Our town enthusiastically offers up for 140 bands: 9 venues with ~ 14 stages. Thankfully the rain stopped for Friday and Saturday so all were able to crawl the venue route.
At the Bottle and Cork, ( not so at The Rudder ), I noticed that only 30% of the attendees were with beer-in-hand, signaling this as a serious Music Group.
The first thing I do is to take in the musician's fashion trend as it speaks tactically to our future mode. Gone was the 2009 look of long, long shiny hair and British Invasion. Facial hair and dreds were the exception. Gone were the girlfriends' stiletto shiny S&M heels.
This season it looked like everyone had day jobs at a bank! Clean cut looks with hair way above the collar. Preppy ruled in the most ironic-way. Purple was a favorite color.
The Fat Daddy Has Been lead singer still had his dreds but wore a striped Polo shirt! Tiva Tiva's group sported suspenders and ratted-out formal orchestra wear.
Girlfriends went back to their 2008 boots, this time nearly knee-high with a heel to match, with a decidedly glamourous and polished 1970's look.
Friday was my favorite night. My Bottle and Cork evening started with "The Little Invisibles". I tried to dismiss the music as the sound was quite muddled.... but then I concentrated and found the grooves: Pop-Gothic! A contradiction in terms, but that is what they did mixing in bouncy pop musical-lines with monster-in-the-house darker moods. Their fashion mode? Preppy Goth!
Next up was Frank Vielle & The Manhattan Project with their very city look and sound; and their smooth jazz given over to perfectly handled rock.
Crawling to the The Rusty Rudder I found on the inside stage, Club Rudder, Dynasty Electric! Jenny Electric is a Pop Queen Diva who perfects Electronica Dance and took us from Blondie to Britney. With her sequined and spangled futuristic costume, I think she could head-line for Star Trek!
My goal for the evening was to hear: Brother Joscephus & The Love Revival Revolution Orchestra! The crowd was ready to party Mardi Gras New Orleans style! This group of 12 entertains in high style N'awlins costume and sound and put forth (and threw forth a slew of Mardi Gras beads) a perfect concert in 50 minutes. The last song demonstrated their masterful musicianship taking a traditional New Orleans Jazz sound transformed to Funk to Grateful Dead Acid Rock to Trance and slowly reversed the same back again. See my October 2009 blog to read even more on their style and approach.
I walked home very happy and placed on my bedroom curtain-rod my Mardi Gras red-bead necklace.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Election Time: Craziness.

Political Science Masters and PHD Candidates listen up: come to Dewey Beach for the Summer and in the Fall return with your Thesis!
For a town that is not even 2 miles long our month-long campaign election season craziness could fill any vast city!
The evening before the election, I took my place on the curb holding up candidate's signs. I was not getting any action until I held my sign high, swiveled my hips, danced, and asked for trucks to beep their horns!
I got more attention doing the above than at the Starboard! I've missed my RTE #1 calling as a mascot! I say pay me cash $25/hour and I'll wear the fuzzy suit and dance on the street!
This year the Starboard's new digital billboard flashed it's favorite candidate...... who did not win; yet immediately after elections the sign did flash a congrats to the winning opposition!
Voting is inside at the Life Saving Station....... but first get past the candidate set ups....... my favorite was a Martha Stewart-esque setting of seasonal flowers, pumpkins, hay, a watering can, a painted stool, and a bowl of candy corn!
Then inside after signing in, it is chat-time with the election board officials and observers.
I am glad I asked how the physical voting worked. It seemed dead simple...... but a mistake in a close election could be a cause for rip-roaring contention and more fighting.
Happy I was to attend a very Dewey-style "after the election" party!
I've heard there is for all candidates and councilmen a "Bury the Sand Hatchet/Shovel" ritual. Hope they do not forget to do it!

Beach Blessings,

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Yom Kippur: Sermon on Hawk Watch!

My Dear Sweet ILDB Blog Reader,
Please read the prior post on Rosh Ha Shonah and Hawk Watch to truly appreciate this post.
I wanted to be at Yom Kippur's Morning Service more than I wanted to be at Hawk Watch, but it did not stop my mind from it's wandering desires! I knew that day would be a record day for raptors counted: a front moved in the night before, Kol Nidre, with excellent NW winds and clear skies. Indeed ~ 1,500 raptors were counted; a record day.
A visiting Rabbi was introduced for the Sermon; he took the podium with a stack of papers and a magazine, his topic for the first five minutes or more was devoted to: Hawk Watch!!!
Bursting out laughing, I looked to my fellow Cape Henlopen Volunteers who were also doing the same. We gave high fives each time the Rabbi said the words, "Hawk Watch"!
The Rabbi reminisced about his "Mother The Naturalist" who would never let him walk a step without doing bird and plant identifications. Then, the Rabbi gave kudos to the local Hawk Watch , held up for validation his own birding magazine, and then the "official" Hawk Silhouette Identification Chart!
Having just the week before blogged about the marvels of combining High Holidays and Hawk Watch: I was amazed with the coincidence and beyond giddy.
Giddy is not a term normally described for Yom Kippur emotions...... but there it was.
Later I thanked the Rabbi and learned that he resides at Cape Shores with easy access to witness the daily Miracle of Fall Migration.

La Shanah Tova,

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ocean City's Bike Week, Yom Kippur @ SJC, Shofar Blasts

In Fall of 2004 at my beachy-cottage, my very first night was to the accompanying rumbles of bikes, bikes, and more bikes. As my cottage is near a street light: it was more like hearing the idling varooms gear into blasts.
I was very unhappy. I assumed this was the " nightly norm". I had not a clue about the once a year event of OC's: Bike Week!
I was kinda happy when a tricked-out Harley broke down right in front of my cottage and spent the day in my driveway!
This year, Bike Week occurred the same week as Yom Kippur!
The Shofar is a ram's horn that is ritually blown in certain named notes and patterns to announce the beginning of Rosh Ha Shonah and the end of Yom Kippur.
I spent a wonderful day with Seaside Jewish Community (SJC) in services at our host, Epworth Church, I left in a prayerful mode, but as I drove back to my cottage, I was surrounded by blasts of bikes!
For the weekend 250,000 bikes descended on Ocean City! Again my cottage was besieged by the noise. I was very unhappy.
Oddly the varoom-varooms reminded me of the Shofar blasts!
One Blast: Tekiyah!
Three Short Blasts: Shevarim!
Rapid Line Blasts: Teruah!
The Blast of All Blasts: Tekiyah Gedolah!!!

Then I was happy, and happy even during the night of rumbling, and almost sad when morning came, and not a Bike Blast around to remind me of the Shofar and the call to The New Year: 5771.

La Shanah Tova,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rosh Ha Shonah and Hawk Watch

For the Erev Rosh Ha Shonah evening service, I made certain I was dressed up: Simply Vera Wang dress, fancy drop-pearl earrings, gold circle bangle, and Italian sandals, ruched-black handbag.
Because...... The next day, for Saturday Morning Rosh Ha Shonah services I was dressed in a tee-shirt, capris, and a backpack.
Fashion format follows the function: I was positively giddy from the effect of going between Hawk Watch before and after services.
I was more proud of my fat-with-binoculars backpack than the fancy black leather-tasseled handbag. This memory brought back the wonderful youthful moments of picking out a new outfit to wear for Rosh Ha Shonah. .... And now as an adult I am in a tee-shirt!
The morning service sent me off with the Shofar Blasts exciting me to charge into the new year ahead.
After Hawk Watch I attended, just around the corner, the Tashlich ceremony at the Lewes Cape Shores Pier where we threw our leafs inscribed with our woes to the Delaware Bay.
Combining all the above activities can only happen in Sussex County! The effect of which made me for the entire day beyond grateful for my beachy-life.

Beach Blessings,

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mission Impossible: Find Hurricane Earl Survivors!

Please start to sing the theme song to the now so impossibly retro TV show, "Mission Impossible". Too young? You Tube it!!!
The Tuesday after the passing of Hurricane Earl off the Delmarva Coast, there I am on the Hawk Watch platform enjoying my day. Nothing to do but watch the ocean, bay, sky and a few raptors! After duty, descending the steps, my cell gets in a voice mail. Oddly the cell call never came in on the platform. Oh, well.
My "Piping Plover" Director of Endangered Species, Birds and Plants, implores a call back. I do.
Theme Song Please:
Your Mission if you choose to take it is to find the Survivors of Hurricane Earl! Find the Endangered Species Wild Beach Amaranth Plants that made it thru Hurricane Earl's High Tide!
Why yes, I will take on the mission!
In 25 mph winds with stinging sand I crawled the Dune Line between Key Box and Conquest beach. I was truly bummed as I started the crawl. There were 25 plants..... I was finding none.
And then I found one...... a tiny water-logged survivor.
And then I found one the size of a small butter plate!
And then I found one the size of an appetizer plate!
With each find, happier, and happier I became despite covered with the flying gritty and filmy sand.
20% survivor rate!

Ta Da!

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Consensus: Starboard, The Cove, Nalus, North Beach

The "Until Death 'Till We Part-y Summer House Group" have decades together of group parties; they know each other very well. Yet, I am equally amazed and not that at the end of every party, or even a Saturday Happy Hour, there is a "Group Grope Consensus" as to where The Group will grope and end the evening. Labor Day weekend Saturday we all piled into The Starboard, and on Sunday evening we piled into The Cove.
We know what we enjoy, and know what live music is playing where, and at what venue. The GROUP always picks out the most FUN choice.
This is how it works. Saturday at "The Party" mid-way thru everyone starts to say, OK, see you later @ XXX, right? And thus it gets repeated, and indeed half the party does end up at the agreed location.
The Summer House Group even has it's own "real-estate" at each bar; in particular, The Starboard! Packed sardine-full as always, there we were, packed into our own little can-bar space. One party member, not knowing the above, came in with a mylar-baloon from the party as if to say "find me". Yet, somehow among the thousands he found our space.

Beach Blessings,

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Lewes's: The Buttery: Old School and Pub Life

Once long ago after walking in blustery conditions, with a date, we walked into Lewes's "The Buttery" hoping to just get a cup of hot tea. My date's face turned to horror. This restaurant is for THE BIG DATE. But maybe not?
The patrons match the decor: High Class/Old School, varnished woods and flowers are abundant. Ask to be seated in the semi- circular "Garden" window, as there you can catch the street scene.
I finally made it to The Buttery.. again..... but this time for a celebratory birthday brunch! As the gals were late, I sat waiting at the empty but beautiful old school- varnished bar flirting with the bartender, discovering the bar life that not even the locals know exist!
The Buttery, if seated at the bar, offers up a Pub Menu from 5 PM to closing! The creative menu also entices as the prices are a fraction of a dinning room dinner!
Lovely, lovely is the chef's presentations for either menu.

Beach Blessings,

Monday, August 30, 2010

My Beach Version: Eat, Pray, Love

At an airport bookstore I scanned the book: Eat, Pray, Love. I passed on the purchase. Yet, the Trifecta Search mode is what I have been doing these past five beach seasons!
My version?
Buy a Beach Shack:
*****EAT****SWIM****VOLUNTEER (for Endangered Species Birds and Plants)*****
Upon arrival my very first stop in Dewey Beach is to purchase local fish, produce and baked goods! This past weekend I purchased Fifer's Roast Chicken and Baked Corn Salad which I threw together to make the weekend's salad!
For four seasons running my reason TO LIVE was TO SWIM in the ocean! I LIVED for my daily beach time with at least 2-3 swims. I was bereft if I could not swim because of the surf, my schedule or the weather.
I knew I had to find my "dry land swim time".
My dry-land time found me at Cape Henlopen State Park ( CHSP). I fell into several volunteer events before I found my gig projects for DNREC's Endangered Species ( Shorebirds and Plants).
At a volunteer event DNREC thanked me for my service.
Oh, no. Thank YOU, DNREC!
My volunteering is self-serving and self-fulfillment.

*****EAT****SWIM****VOLUNTEER ********************************

Beach Blessings,

Monday, August 23, 2010

Midway's Screening Room and SJC.

One of my most favorite Summer socials is Seaside Jewish Community's ( SJC) Movie Night!
We were a small group....... ~ 20........ definitely the retired age group. The chosen movie, "Defiance"........ the extreme violence was not for a family night-out.
I love having The Midway's Screening Room "all to ourselves". It is fun and intimate, bonds form with the food and the ability to vocalize during the movie our "oh's and oy's".
For the menu we had a salad bar with ordered-in pizza! Lots of desserts from fresh figs to chocolate torte. Of course, Popcorn was served at movie time!!!

The Point, Lunch in Lewes and Beach Time in Dewey

As a kid my day was made if I made it in one day to more than one beach! Same for me as an adult!
If low tide is in the morning, Cape Henlopen's Point is my first destination. I wandered the tidal flats, found birds, and socialized with a birding group.
The most fun was watching a Father with two small daughters use a casting net to catch Mullet minnows. His daughter, "Maya The Brave" caught the squiggling fish and dumped then in the bucket. Her delighted squeals fought off the Laughing and Herring Gulls!
For once I did not pack a lunch and off I went to the Lewes to the "The Barbeque/Church Pavillion". My box lunch and I then went to Lightship Overfalls Park for a picnic.
Back in Dewey, the afternoon was for socializing and swimming too!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Non-Beach Day in Lewes

Friday was not gonna be a "beachy-day" so we headed to Lewes. I wanted a " Local Lewes Day" ...... not totally going touristy.
First on the list was the Lewes Library for a computer hit to check email. The Lewes Library makes my heart sing for joy! Varnished wood shines with big glass windows looking out on Stango Park. I adore the pie-shaped glassed-in room for the Historic Lewes collection.
We wound our way to the Lightship Overfalls Park which was in full volunteer mode: putting in brick pavers. After a history lesson at the Life Guard Station, I found locals fishing and chicken-necking for crabs off the park's pier.
What a set-up! The fishing pier is more "gazebo" and has running fresh water to keep the deck, crabs, fish and children sparkling clean!
Off past University of DE's Windmill we went to MERR where we viewed the whale skulls and talked to a Professor of Aquaculture in charge of the "Oyster Garden Project".
We were getting hungry, so with our packed lunch in hand I thought to picnic at the Lewes Ferry while viewing the Kalmar Nykal! Afterwards we chatted with crew members. I shook the hand of the Steersman: 14 years old!
My last planned spot was Cape Henlopen State Park's The Point. It was low tide! Time to walk the flats and find some birds. Although we were losing light, and it was "spitting" tiny rain drops this spot never fails to touch my heart.

Beach Blessings,

Lewes's Fish On!

At 5 PM, oh, I was not so happy facing Dewey's bumper to bumper Sunday-Out-Of-Town-Traffic to make my dinner date at Fish On! Luckily after an hour or so the traffic subsided, the traveling time proved no more than 20 minutes.
Fish On's restaurant is right out of Los Angeles. Bold with a clean deconstruction look, a fine open bar, and a great view where ever you look, we easily found our spot. The menu is at once homey and surprisingly clever. Sundays offers a fixed price menu which is well valued.
This is a great locals choice for Sunday dinner: a handsome spot for dining, a fun and delicious menu, and easy parking.

Rehoboth's Hobo's

We headed to Rehoboth's Hobo's with an advertisement coupon in hand:
free appetizer with purchase of an entree, but in fact we were after the
most jiving possible scene. Baltimore Avenue seems to be the place.
Score! Seated in Hobo's outdoor cafe, we had across the street the
sardine-packed Iguana Grill and to our right the indoor Hobo's view of
their tiny bar, a lounge singer, dancing Grandma's and squirming children.
Our waiter inquired if we might have food allergies! After we promised
not to code on the spot, our orders were taken.
The appetizer proved to be entree sized and teeming with asiatic flavors, half of which
made it home for a midnight snack. The entrees were mesmerizing and made our senses
Happy, we lingered as long as possible and later toured
Rehoboth's bars.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Zany Bandz Camo Backpack: Thank you DNREC!

The first time I showed up for DNREC's Fish and Wildlife's Red Knot Duty I sported a beach bag. WRONG!
The second time I showed up for Red Knot Duty I proudly sported a hot PINK backpack! WRONG.
I quickly learned that black, brown and camo were the accepted colors.
( Also at Hawk Watch my girly pink backpack got wide-eyed stares ).
I missed out on attending the Volunteer Reward Party. I thought my reward might be a coffee mug???
At the Friends of Cape Henlopen Meeting, I was astounded when my "reward" showed up and it was a CAMO-color Back Pack with the Delware Park's Logo!!!
I was stunned! Beautiful and appropriate for all my "true Volunteer" duties.
Certainly someone suggested that I needed to lose the Pink Backpack!
I love this backpack, but like a new kid returning to Middle School: I just had to make it my own.
Off I went to purchase a set of neon-colored Zany Bandz!
I put the Zany Bandz thru each pull tag and then as decoration the remaining went into the outside mesh pocket.

Thank you, DNREC!!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Small Kitchen Stories: Steamed Shrimp Summer Meals

How to have wonderful Summer meals for two hungry beachy folks, and not heat-up the kitchen?
Steamed Spiced Shrimp, 1 Lb.
Tabbuleh Mix: I like Fantastic Foods.
Creamy Tomato Soup: Pacific Foods
Meal #1
A rather complicated Tabbuleh that started with the mix and then I added in: chopped cucumber, tomatoes, red onions, and sweet red and yellow peppers. A can of tuna, mashed, and generous amounts of crumbled Feta. Extra olive oil and lemon juice gave it a nice finish.
On the side serve the in-the-shell spiced shrimp.
A nice cut up peach slices decorated the plate.

Meal #2
Soup with Old Bay Spiced Shrimp
Peel the remaining Spiced Steamed Shrimp and chop up, coarse to fine. Throw into the soup pot with a chopped tomato, and mushrooms. Add in the package of Creamy Tomato Soup. Add in a dash of milk, dried dill-weed.
Heat up!
Serve with a big dollop of Greek Style Yogurt.
I knew this would be good...... but it was exceptionally "yummy"!
Serve dessert: cream cheese frosted brownies!

Ta Da!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dark Star Orchestra and History Lesson:

It's never too late to Grow Up and Be a Dead Head!
I was a bit too young for the era of Dead-head-ness. But the music was around me via two older siblings.
Despite already having put in a long day, off I went to the concert with a Trance-head. He declared my outfit as a West Hollywood Hipster: I took this as a high compliment.
Dark Star Orchestra's (DSO) 8:45 PM performance start was in favor of the time needed to recreate the concert and the gently- aging-Hippie group. 60 year old guys wore their favorite but now decades old and rotting Dead-Head tee-shirts.
DSO Perfume: Scents of weed, beer, sweat, and a rain soaked awning.
DSO's rich complex lines expand and contract astounding me. Trance Music lines came forth and I pointed these out. "No WAY" was the response!
Ah ha, so at the only 30 minute break in the 3.5 hour+ performance we made our way to the Sound Technician and talked shop. Trance-head received the history lesson of The Foundations of Trance Music courtesy the Grateful Dead's Psychedelia and Space Rock, LSD, Ken Kesey, Ram Dass, Timothy Leary..... . ETC!
Trance-head was entranced.
The evening ended with Johnny Be Good! 12:45 AM but Party ON!
DSO members slay me: when the music ends they just walk off the stage! No bows! No personal acknowledgment of their magnificent musicianship.

Beach Blessings,

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Stalking the Wild Beach Amaranth

Having spent a good portion of my childhood wandering the dunes it is a wonder that I now do this same thing for the good state of DE in search of the "Wild Beach Amaranth".
Part of the Beach Nester program is locating the plants in the very same federally protected area for our endangered species beach nester- birds. As our Director Matt Bailey says, "what is good for the Piping Plovers is good for the Wild Beach Amaranth".
Two weeks ago on a very early Saturday morning we met for our three hour survey. As we entered the dunes the heat and humidity was already in charge of the day. Our team of 5 found three plants all in a high probability area.
After a lesson on viewing a beach-nest, I thrilled to later find my first Least Tern Nest! It was like finding a miniscule version of an ancient archaeological site!
So what is the natural heritage of the Wild Beach Amaranth? I've asked and searched; no information comes forward.
After noticing that the Beach Goldenrod is in good play at this very same time of year, and knowing it is a dye plant..... I wondered if the Wild Beach Amaranth was too. Maybe for the Indians it was a very special dye plant and ritual color. The seed is mahogany red-brown...... I need a seed to test my theory!

Beach Blessings,

Monday, August 2, 2010

It's a Niche-y-Life

All of a sudden it hit me: Sussex County is where you can make your mark. A niche mark, but a mark nonetheless.
Rehoboth: the gay scene.
Dewey Beach: the bar life and live music. Starboard has a life beyond it's own walls.
Craft Brews: Dogfish Head Brewery plays into the above, but has taken on Milton and Rehoboth as it's very own.
How many musicians happily make the rounds and round again of Ocean City/Dewey/Rehoboth?
Clearspace Productions: why live in NYC or LA when you can live at the beach and find your audience?
Food artisans: a line of jams and jelly based on the local produce including our indigenous beach plums!
Restaurants: SoDel Concepts array of restaurants captures our imaginations.
Real Estate: Who has not noticed that Lewes is niched-out by nearly a single real-estate company?
Publishing: Dave Burris dominates with his virtual weekly news.
Dairy: Lewes Dairy!
Seafood: Big Fish rules.
Kayaking: Quest takes care of it all.
Skimboarding: Alley Oop: mentors the little sand crabs and makes them their own for life!
Seaside Jewish Community: the only show in town and is it ever beachy with Havdalah on the dunes!
Birding: Seashore and Migratory Birds R'US.
My point is: if you can create your dream, then we of Lower Slower Sussex County might be your beach dream come true.

Beach Blessings,

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Clear Space Productions: Annnie Get Your Gun!

$25 to see Annie Get Your Gun at a high school? I thought my girlfriend had lost her #10 hot pad-thai noodles. In my head I had visions of wonderful performances mixed in with the bad. I assumed this would be really, really bad. But hey, I wanted a night outta Dewey Beach.
The Lewes High School is GORGEOUS!!!! It is a great soaring space that makes you happy to be inside when you know all the kids want is to be outside on the beach! I marveled how this building surpassed nearly all my college campus buildings. I continued to gasp as I entered the auditorium.
I gasped again when the orchestra appeared! Live musicians!!! Oh, and were they ever good when they struck up the opening.
I audibly gasped and sighed again when the lead, Ted Keegan playing Frank Butler, sang his first two lines...... I instantly knew he was an Irving Berlin "specialist".
I nearly whopped out loud for joy: this was gonna be great!!!!
Thus it was: a perfect performance, an Irving Berlin "Love Fest".
Clear Space: is a treasure. Can't wait for 2011's, "Chicago"!

Po' Boys Restaurant and The Milton Theater's "BISS"

Sometimes you just gotta get out of Dewey Beach, stretch those juvenile wings, migrate out and find new flocks of fun.
We were after a night in Milton for dinner and to attend the "Best in Summer Shorts" film fest.
I was so dubious when my friend suggested, "Po'Boys", whose signage does not even include the words "Restaurant" and is located on a tiny strip next to a "dollar store".
As we entered, I wanted to see white tablecloths..... or newspaper covered..... but then I noticed the crazy happy "Mardi Gras" artwork, very cool patrons, and the warm greeting of the owner who looked tired but relaxed and happy.
My nose picked up wonderful smells..... the chalkboard promised local produce and seafood with a twist of elegant N'awlins.
One bite of the blackened scallops with the flash fried spinach made me declare the restaurant as my "New Favorite"!
Then off to Milton we went...... but first I wanted to see Dogfish Head Brewery's new lawn sculpture installation. Cray love at first sight: direct from Burning Man it is the tree-house of my childhood dreams! The juxtaposition of the "tree-house" limbs against the brewery distillation vats is art/craft/art/craft.
The crazy fun continued for the independent artist short films. Although the numbers attending was under ~ 50, the atmosphere was pure "collegial". I was back in college in my favorite film class.
The category that made me laugh until I cried was for the category of 13 to 16 years, a comedy, "The Milton Ferret". It was every and all the classic cartoon bits come to life played out by the human film makers.
Would you believe after the film evening the Milton Theater asked patrons to stay-in for Burton's Alice in Wonderland?!
I skipped the above...... it was time to drive home to Dewey Beach.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sarong Time!

Sarong Time! When the Sarong is put into my beach bag, my Swimming Season begins!
I learned the Ways of The Sarong many lifetimes ago in Hawaii, and then in Fiji.
Mine is a ~ 3 yard swath of India Homespun cotton, nearly neon orange and green stripes, circa 1976! It is slightly faded but otherwise in perfect condition despite three decades of hard labor!
My Sarong goes from a beach coverup, and sometimes serves as an emergency umbrella atop my floppy hat, and then becomes my "towel" wrapping me up before and after my outdoor shower.
So this is how it works:
Keep the Sarong in your beach bag. Then once back at home base, hang it on your outdoor shower hook. Take your outdoor shower, then cover up with the Sarong. Inside the house you go do whatever until you finish getting dressed!
Remember to dry out the wet Sarong on your clothesline! Replace into your beach bag!
Towels be gone.
Sarongs Rule!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Stango Park Concerts & Dewey Beach-ness

Lewes crams more parks into it's small town than possible, then gilds them with Music In the Parks series!
I attended the Navy Jazz Band's, The Commodores at Stango Park. Find it on Savannah Road, located behind the library. If you attend just bring a lawn chair and maybe some bug spray too.
This band played for a happy contented crowd which did respond with appropriate clapping. I was bopping in my seat; I was that surprised by such elegant interpretations. Actually; perfectly mastered and presented. I thought I heard a young Ella Fitzgerald in the young beautiful vocalist!
The sound quality was masterfully produced for the setting, nicely aided by the library as a music shell. I could not remember the last time I attended a music-in-the-park concert, and I was happy as can be. So I was getting a little excited!
At the end I so much wanted an "Encore"...... and so I started the chant "One MORE SONG!!!!"
Indeed the announcer heard me...... and truly there was an encore coming anyway...... but in that moment my Dewey Beach-ness came out for the fun!
I could have yelled an appropriate,"Encore"!
You can take the Girl Out of Dewy Beach.... but you can't take Dewey Beach out of The Girl!


Monday, July 12, 2010

Running of the Bull, It's Raining Men and Champagne!

A rainy day for The Starboard's The Running of the Bull: PERFECTION!
And what else was there to do? Attend the Town of Dewey Beach Council Meeting?! I have my priorities!
2010 Running of the Bull drew at least 2,000 revelers and at least 70% were wet to the bone with the rain and drink.
Who knew the event would be "Mandatory Wet Tee-Shirt Contest"!?! The men did and they vastly outnumbered the fairer sex.
I was happy in my bathing suit, my big floppy hat, and under the canopy hanging with the audio-visual guys.
The canopy offered a wonderful carnival effect as every 5 minutes a looped-fool got a torrent of rain-water-bath cascading from the staked edge.
Although Budweiser Beer kindly sponsored the event, "The Bull's Drink of Choice" was J. Roget's Champagne Magnums! Looped-ones explained for the $$ it was more cost effective than more than a handful of beers and it saved time approaching the bar. Ok, so it is a big bottle to carry around. But it was put to great use for, "Spin the Bottle" games!
We all cried for the Star Spangled Banner and then off we went on our Bull & The Beach run!
My favorite moment: when The Bull arrives ( he had a very late night and showed up very late too) to the tune of Wooly Bully!


Monday, June 28, 2010

Greenhead Flies: Frantic

Sunday morning when I arrived at Cape Henlopen State Park for "Bird Police", the temperature was already very humid, near 90 and climbing. My first stop is at the dorm to pickup my borrowed scope where I ran into Karli and Adam, the Beach Nester seasonal team. I promised them both that a 4 hour gig was all my body would allow.
Once in place at The Point the Greenhead Fly attack started. Despite slathering myself in bug repellent I was a yummy-to-a fly attraction. Bloody-bites dripped down my ankles.
Hanging out in the water helped but then I'd have to re-apply the useless bug spray.
I felt like a horse frantic for relief.
Finally I applied my horse-blanket....... a beloved swath of cotton homespun cloth brought back from India, circa ~1970's! I wound myself into it tight as can be, sat in my beach chair and wound the beach blanket around my ankles and feet.
But only until I had to get up, put things away, and charge up the dune-pass to my vehicle.
Local lore says: if the West Wind Blows...... stay away from the Bay and the flies!
West Winds: see me at the Midway for a movie!
Believe it.

Beach Blessings,

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hands Across The Sand: Sat 26th, 11 AM, Dewey Beach!

An international protest coming to our little Dewey Beach this Saturday, June 26th at 11 AM?!!! But where will it be??? Maybe the Lifesaving Station?
It is called, "Hands Across The Sand"; an international group protest against off- shore oil drilling and promoting clean energy.
The idea is to hold hands forming a human-line, thus drawing a line in the sand as a visual protest........ but in Dewey Beach who is awake and dressed at 11 AM?
The protest would do better as a Starboard, 11 PM tipsy-conga line!
Ah, Hands Across America! What year was it? 1980's hyper-something...... the above brings back the memory of seeing the fleshy human chains on bridges as I drove from Wash DC to PA.
I can not wait to report back on this!

*I was at Cape Henlpen State Park and missed the action!

Monday, June 21, 2010

We Are Family! Piping Plovers!

The anticipation was big! Promised from Summer 2009, we all awaited our "Piping Plover Watch" Tee-shirts!!! What would it look like? How would we feel with "VOLUNTEER" emblazoned on our backs? Would the public care???? Would it make our job easier??? And more importantly would my extra large size allow my cute beach skirt to poke thru???
We tried on and purchased the shirts right in the Cape Henlopen State Park, The Point parking lot. I modeled and twirled on the runway.
I threatened to write on the front: BIRD POLICE.
As that is what we do.
There we all were now all looking alike in our sandy colored shirt: Piping Plover's Human Family!
After my five hour gig off I went to celebrate, show-off and cool-off at Lewes' King's Ice Cream for a Lemon Ice.

Beach Blessings,

Small Kitchen Stories: Instantly Thai!

I missed out on the Friday nite Pad Thai at Scraps...... and yearned for it all weekend.
Sunday Night it was time to make a dinner that would not heat up the kitchen and would use up the "left-overs".
I had steamed broccoli and a grilled veal steak. The heck with that: I wanted a Thai theme salad!

Instantly Thai Salad

Salad Stuff:
Steamed green veggy: I had broccoli!
Cooked Fish or Shrimp, Chicken or Beef: I had Veal!
Leftover bits of cheddar cheese: I know, I know: but it worked just fine.
Chopped Sweet Red Pepper
Chopped Tomato
Chopped Scallions

Salad Dressing Ingredients:
Drew's Thai Sesame Lime Salad Dressing
Peanut Butter, Crunchy and Organic too!
Soy Sauce
Rice Vinegar
Toasted Sesame Oil

Toss all the salad stuff in a bowl. In a mixing bowl whip up together the salad dressing ingredients to taste. Start out with a big lump of peanut butter and then add in the rest.
Dress the salad and toss!
*Extra points: garnish with a handful of Oriental rice cracker snack mix!

Ta DA!

North Beach "Re-Brands"

Although we planned having Pad Thai at Scraps we ended up for dinner at North Beach. I've avoided North Beach two seasons running as the crowd was inclined towards the behavior that brings in the police.
North Beach has never been about the food. I've now lived thru at least three menu variations on fried, fried some-more and more-over fried.
North Beach is about being with your group, listening to the live music, and watching the sunset while you eat on the sandy beach.
The latest re-branded version might redeem itself. Two semi-circular bars now hold court in the main area....... I'm certain the intention is to break up a "bad crowd".
So it took forever for dinner to be served..... the fried fish sandwich was yummy and made up for the cold stack of sweet potato fries. Next time I'll order the green beans!
Ok, North Beach see you July 4th weekend for the dance party!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Happy Hour Dueling

How I love having dueling Happy Hour invites. Which one won?
I love a Happy Hour where I can attend "right off the beach" in beach togs and flip flops. I did clean up .... coverup, jewelry, lipstick, flip flops..... but I was still sandy behind the ears. The chosen Happy Hour was hosted at a home....... not a bar. Margaritas, munchee food, and friends I had not seen since Summer 2009 drew me in.
The competing Happy Hour was at a bar..... a venue that is more for a "big dinner date" than a Happy Hour. I would have had to have showered and "dressed-up". It was not going to happen.
My Happy Hour then segued into drinks at a friends ocean block home which then revived into a party when the original Happy Hour attendees "dropped-in"! Six hours later I returned to my tiny cottage.

ILDB: I Love Dewey Beach!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Friday Nite! "Scraps" for a new Routine!

Who does not know that Friday night is "Taco Toss" at "The Lighthouse"? Is it even possible to try a new routine?
Try this! Make your way around the Lighthouse deck to say hello to your buds...... then hang at "Que Pasa". The age group here is beyond the Taco Toss's mainstay of the 20- to 30 year group.
Then off to "Scraps" you go, sit out on the deck, and try the new Chef's menu of Thai offerings. Made to my exact "heat requirement", I adored the Pad Thai!
After dinner....... From the deck look up to the "Two Seas" to see if their top deck is in action. If so, you are in luck as it is usually only reserved for group functions and special events.
Walk in..... and sweetly request to hang at the deck bar as most likely you will be "crashing" the already in-progress event.
There is seating to the right of the bar where you will not be interfering with the event. The step down to this area is hardly noticeable...... so if you are looped expect a crash landing.
Enjoy the breeze and the view of the ocean and the bay!
Walk home happy!

Beach Blessings,

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bayside: the Other Half of the story

Myself and the ocean: there is no separating the two. Yet, I am now discovering my "other half": The Bay!
Summer 2009 I did time at Cape Henlopen State Park, Bayside at The Point and explored : Slaughter Beach to Prime Hook. This Summer I am continuing the trend.
Bayside is contemplative gracing the eye with an ever changing rising or falling tide shoreline. A walk yields whelks, snails, and the oddest mollusk finds.
My newest find is Breckenbridge Beach, ~ 20 minutes North of Slaughter Beach. The long sandy and reedy beach, but not boggy, is very quiet and yielded up swimming turtles, Red Knots, American Oyster Catchers, and the seasonal mix of shorebirds.
Behind the beach the marsh is rife with Rails and Red Wing Blackbird calls.
Just now I "Googled" for this location and it came up empty handed! Is this a "Secret Beach" known only to locals?

Beach Blessings,

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dogs Rule at Dewey Beach but not at Cape Henlopen State Park

Dogs and Dewey Beach is a match made in " Until Death-Dewey Part in Heaven" but not at Cape Henlopen State Park.
Dewey Beach dogs know the lifeguard warning and final whistle and many then just walk themselves up the street to the beach to meet up with their owner!
Cape Henlopen State Park (CHSP) is not a dog destination.
Only the paved trails that parallel the paved roads, and the "Ocean Surf Fishing Beach" are allowed for leashed dogs. Nowhere are unleashed dogs allowed.
A doggie- day at CHSP destination thus is only the above and no dog should suffer time in a locked hot car while the owner plays elsewhere.
If your dog ducks into the Federally Protected Bird Preserve, "The Point" and a Park Watch Volunteer informs you that your dog is not allowed, and if a Federally Protected Endangered Species bird is killed earning you a $25,000 fine: follow the advice and leave the restricted area.
If you and your doggie want a fun time: Dewey Beach is the best choice.
Labra -Doodle play time groups and "Grey Hounds Reach The Beach " events are where the action is; later you can hang out at a cafe with a beer in hand while doggie slurps your icecream.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Red Knot Anxiety

I'm the Sunday Red Knot-Shore Bird project Volunteer. At the early AM meeting we filled out numerous volunteer sheets choosing the specific designation box : True Volunteer.
Volunteer-us Vera, my species name.
This is my second "migration" participating in the project, thus now I am getting familiar with the daily pace and goals.
The goal is : find a Red Knot, find a Red Knot, find a Red Knot.
The Red Knots are streaming into the DE Bay. The daily numbers are going parabolic but we are waiting, waiting, waiting for The BIG Day of Arrival! The arrival is en masse. 75% of the world's population shows up for the party.
The 20 or so Brits crossed The Pond for the party braving Icelandic Volcano Ash Plumes and endless flight hours, bringing with them their scopes and tripods, supplies of PG Tips Tea, Marmite, and bottles of whiskey.
Yet, as the morning meeting dispersed into our assignments I felt the tension. A happy tension. Anxiety. Happy Anxiety. Red Knot Anxiety!
I realized that I was anxious too!
When do they arrive? Where will they feed? Will the birds cooperate in feeding where they can be netted and banded?
Red Knots please read my email and know that the Horse Shoe Crabs are in abundance and so is the food.
Please arrive soonest!

Beach Blessings,

Dewey Beach Dogs and Big Fish

How sweet is it to walk the beach and greet Dewey's local's dogs who remember me from the previous season!
As I headed to the Life Saving Station a sandy and wet golden retriever ran over to me and stole off my hand my pink Nike glove!!! Doggie was just saying "hi, welcome back" and wanted social-time. I did ask for my glove back...... then I noticed the dog's owner as one of my beach buds!
We finished our walk together....... later off we went to Big Fish to meet up with another friend for dinner.
This is why I Love Dewey Beach!

Beach Blessings,

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Small Kitchen Stories: Ta-Ta's for Tautogs

Arriving into town, I want to have a lovely dinner and that often means fresh fish. At Rehoboth Seafood Market I looked over the options...... I wanted local and affordable.
I scanned the ice case and saw, "Tautog" which looked shimmery-pink and firm, and it was cheap! I asked for one fillet.
Tautog! It is not a gorgeous name. Sounds like a fish version of a tug boat! Curious to see a picture, I discovered that this fish is the opposite of pretty.
Immediately I had to find for the fish a new name: Ta-Ta Fish!
Ha, with a "Save the Ta-Ta Fish" advertisement campaign the sales would soar and so would the price!
The Ta-Ta fish is firm and sweet. Ha!

Save The Ta-Ta's Tautog Simmer Pan

Ta-Ta Tautog, 1 fillet
Tomato, chopped
Scallions, chopped
Small Zucchini, chopped
Mushrooms, chopped
Olive Oil

In a big flat skillet, add in the olive oil and heat up. Add in all the vegetables except the tomatoes and saute until nicely colored. Lay in the fillet, skin-side down. Add in the chopped tomatoes and Dill-weed. Add in a nice pour of Vermouth. Cover. Simmer for 5 minutes on one side and then turn the fillet over for 5 more minutes.
Serve with a huge slice of toasted Sourdough bread.

or should I say?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Spring Migration Hawk Watch

How is it that I do "Migration" backwards? 
In Fall I migrate North back to PA and in Spring I migrate South, returning to Delaware!
In fact, I reside the plutonian deep Winter months on a mountain-top only to return to sea-level in Spring, with Summer on my Birkenstock "Persephone"  heels. 
No wonder that I identify with the Raptors and attend their Spring and Fall Migrations!
I arrived at Cape Henlopen's Spring Hawk Watch with The Best Weather and Number Count of the Season's Watch!  Ah, a result of my Persephone credentials!
We had a total Merlin Festival with numbers ~ 80 for the day.  We also tallied 50 plus: Coopers, Sharpies, and Kestrels.
After the watch I could not resist to check out the Bayside at low tide!  Turkey Vultures happily picked at dead and dying Horseshoe Crabs.  Brants were looking for underwater eel grass eats.
Then I heard, over and over: "Day At Da Beach"!!!  I turned toward the excited calls to find not more than 10 feet in front of me a pair of American Oystercatchers! 
They were so excited, and obviously out on the town, on an important date.  One of the pair scored a juicy something-mollusk and continued their foraging.

Beach Blessings,

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Rusty Rudder Jam Fest

I could not help myself, I just had to drop in on the Rusty Rudder's Jam Fest!
I was there Friday night, only one hour, but it was worth the 40 minute round trip of walking to and fro!
Fondly I call the inside "Club Rudder"...... and found "Analog Anthem" working mayhem on Southern Rock.  
 I sat in front of Stage 2 which was just setting up for "Fiddle Foxx".  Only two guys, no percussion to be found, and only  a keyboard, a fiddle and a banjo set up.  Yet, I had a feeling that this would prove the band performance of the night! 
 I was correct!
Fiddle Foxx must have deep folk and classic roots to pull-off their gig which is outside edgy abstract forms of Hip Hop and Rap wound tight to World Rhythms.
Part of the trick was the vocals used as  percussion sounds! The sound system did it justice!
When Fiddle Foxx offered up Rap to Bosa Nova rhythms the crowd went insane!  The musicians waiting for their slots gathered tight about the stage and the kitchen employees poked their astonished heads around the doorway.
  An unexpected thrilling live music performance: This is when I love Dewey Beach the most!

Beach Blessings,